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Ode to Club Owners

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by flyman, Nov 14, 2010.

  1. flyman

    flyman Whoa!!

    Aug 2, 2005
    cincinnati, ohio
    Dear Bar Owner,

    As musicians who get all the glory, we feel its time to thank those whom we rely upon for the opportunity to showcase our talent and express our creative faculty to the local community.

    Because, as everyone knows, musicians don't really need the money. We do it all for beer and sex. We're artists. We have no time for such trivialities as kids, mortgages, or car payments.

    Some of the things we love:

    When you send us home early and pro-rate our pay for the night when it's slow. This gives us a special thrill, since we know that you'll one day give us a big bonus when it's packed. Plus, by leaving early, we can now go watch our friends play at real bars and spend our night's wages.

    When trying to book dates, we love when you ask us if we're free on the 17th. Sure, let us check our f...ing calendar. Yeah, we're open that night. Oh…you meant of November. Of this year?

    We also love when you say, Well, we might be doing something next month for Thursdays.

    Yeah, we might also be doing something next month. Foreclosing.

    One of our fave questions is, Do you have a following? Of course we do! We firmly believe club owners shouldn't have to concern themselves with such banalities as advertising. Or promotions. Or drink specials. The responsibility for attracting customers must fall solely with the band. We have no doubt whatsoever the people who saw us regularly at that bar in Dallas will charter a bus and trek up to Richardson to hear us play Smoke on the Water. Put your minds at rest, troubled bar proprietors.

    Just a few of the things we'd like to thank you for:

    For canceling us forty minutes prior to our arrival at your bar, because as everyone knows, babysitters are free, and frankly, we have nothing better to do on a Saturday night.

    For replacing our four-piece band with the clove cigarette-smoking guy and his $129 Fender acoustic guitar, paisley button-down shirt and soul patch. Theres a reason he works for a hundred bucks.

    For paying the exact same wage for a duo that you paid in 1986. So now, we have to work six jobs a week instead of four to make a living.

    Thanks for not cashing your own checks. We realize how this complicates your accountant's life, and his happiness is all that matters.

    And for having the house music set to the local oldies radio station, we salute you. We love following "Unchained Melody" with "Rock the Casbah."

    For not having a stage. Its a real treat to stand on your wing sauce-saturated carpet. And being on the same level as your patrons makes it much easier for drunken assholes to approach us and fall into our equipment while spewing a three-foot stream of vomit onto the drum kit. Thank you.

    Thanks for the track lighting above the stage. Makes us feel like rock stars. Especially when they're colored.

    Also, thanks for the break on food and drinks. Fifty percent is such a gift. Its our distinct pleasure to shell out $3.25 for a shot of Jack that costs you twenty-two cents. Grazie. Merci. Domo. Danke.

    Thanks for hiring the three laid-off bus mechanics who threw a band together after the economy **** the bed and will now play for $75 a man. Enjoy their ripping 11-minute rendition of Cocaine, complete with 64-bar bass solo and fudged lyrics.

    Thanks for canceling us on a Thursday night for the Browns-Lions game on NFL Network.

    Thanks for putting TVs directly over our heads, so people can watch Worlds Scariest Videos while we play. Its always a thrill to hear such expletives as WHOA!, HOLY ****! while navigating the soliloquy from Nights in White Satin.

    And let us not forget the bartenders, who listen to us all night without once clapping (if for no other reason than to induce the comatose people at the bar to clap).

    And thanks so much for cutting off the jukebox 10 seconds into "Sweet Home Alabama," so that we can hear that collective "AWWWWWW...." from the audience as we hit the stage. Most inspiring.

    Thanks for waiting until you've served all drinks, lit every cigarette, wiped off the bar, stocked the coolers and done your side work before moping toward the cash register with the quickness of a tai chi instructor to give us our meager salary while muttering, They make as much as me, and only worked four f...in hours. Yes, its a travesty, but most high-level universities no longer give out bartending scholarships. And please note that it took us slightly longer to learn our instrument than it took for you to make it through Billy Bobs Bartending School. And we doubt seriously that you sit at home practicing bartending in your spare time. So thanks for handing over the dough and shutting the f... up.
  2. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    Great thread.

    To the owner from our last gig. Thanks for letting the sound guy take the night off (most likely to work a better paying gig) and letting us know the less than 24 hours before the show. And kudos for telling us that we cannot use his house PA. Because with our combined 80 or so years experience running sound we would most surely wreck his system. We love nothing more that scrambling to pull our PA together at the last minute and trying to squeeze it in between the speakers and other equipment already set up that we are not allowed to touch. But I guess we should be grateful just to have a paying show.
  3. R-o-D-


    Jan 14, 2009

    I've got nothing inspiring to add, just a bump for awesomeness.
  4. D.A.R.K.

    D.A.R.K. Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    what are you gonna do to change things?
  5. cdaniel


    Nov 29, 2003
    +10 :D
  6. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    Nothing we can do except vent on TB. It's supply and demand, and the clubs are cutting back due to the economy. More bands looking for less gigs, and the owners know it. I have experienced just about every situation in flyman's sarcastic ode.
  7. D.A.R.K.

    D.A.R.K. Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    you can do something about it, but it's more along the lines of personal choices.
    i just think it's funny to gripe about something that is common knowledge, like walking in a pasture and complaining about stepping in cow ****.
    there are more clubs stepping it up in the last year than in my previous 20 years on the road. also more new venues than i can remember popping up in a year.
    but i am talking venues, not bars....
    there is the first choice.
  8. 1. Kid's parents buy kid guitar.

    2. Kid learns four chords and starts 'band'.

    3. Band goes to bars and asks to play. Owner checks out band and says 'No'.

    4. Band goes back to bar and offers to play for free. Owner checks pocketbook and says 'Yes'.

    5. Band plays terrible show, driving down the perception of local bands while simultaneously undercutting a decent local band.

    Repeat step 5 until no venue is willing to host any local band unless band pays them (i.e. pay-to-play).

    6. Oh look - isn't this where we are now?

    SOLUTION: Next time you meet a band that plays for free, sit them down and explain to them that they're playing for free because they're bad; and that if they don't stop, nobody is ever going to get another gig in this town again, regardless of chops or following.
  9. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    This has nothing to do with pay to play or play for free. This has everything to do with club owners and staff pissing on bands because they can. This varies significantly by country and region, but it is a refrain I hear with alarming frequency in recent months.
  10. Of course it does. Think about it. If you need your toilet fixed, you need somebody with plumbing skills. You have two options: a professional plumber, who will charge X dollars, or your neighbor's kid, who you saw installing a garden hose last weekend, and will work on your can for a slice of pizza.

    Seeing as everybody wants things for free, you go with the neighbor's kid - and then a professional plumber who relies on jobs like this for his living, doesn't get paid.

    It's exactly the same. Amateur hacks with no talent undercutting established, professional acts, and at the same time driving the public's appreciation for local music down. How many times have you heard people complaining that "All local bands suck?" I hear this all the time. There are good local bands, but there are so many hobbyists and kids playing at being rockstars that you can't find any.

    You can't blame the bar for wanting the band to play for less, when after all there's a whole horde of cats dreaming rockstar dreams who'll happily play for free.
  11. shadow_FIX


    Feb 23, 2010
    Yep, this crap happens all the time.

    Dear bar owner, thanks for taking off early and not specifying who was supposed to pay us and for how much. We really like tracking you down for the money you should have paid us that night...the thrill is in the chase for us.

    Dear bar owner, thanks for having a PA, and nobody/nothing there to run it. Thanks for making us call upon friends of friends, in a town away from home, to wrestle together enough materials to make the thing accept at least vocals.

    Dear creepy, douchey piano dude - Thanks for undercutting my jazz trio at the country club. You charge less. And thank you club owner for accepting the lower rate. Have fun watching him inappropriately hit on all of your attractive female employees, as well as interrupt the guest's dinner while he goes out to "work the crowd" for "more gigs."
  12. funkingroovin

    funkingroovin Conquering A-D-D,and all the other notes as well!

    Apr 19, 2009
    HAAAHAHAAAHAAHA!!! So true! The funniest(saddest?) was being cancelled for a Lion's game! TOO MUCH!!
  13. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    There are dumps that we could play any time and get paid $300 but we would be afraid to have our crowd show up, and drunks at the end of the night are brutal. And we would have to ditch our funky stuff and play classic rock. So we choose to play B rooms and have to deal with this garbage from the owners cause all the bands want to play their rooms and they can pick and choose.

    No it doesn't. Not in this situation. The rooms we play don't do that on the weekends. Play for Free is open mic during the week.
  14. M0ses


    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    Dear Bar Owner,
    If the band could pull a sizeable crowd from anywhere all by itself, they'd be renting out halls and collecting every bit of the door for themselves. If you haven't noticed, bars with consistently good bands draw crowds.
  15. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    true, but allow me to flip that around thusly:

    "bands with consistently good crowds draw bars."

    in some ways it doesn't matter how good/experienced/professional/whatever you are, it matters if you bring people into that bar and keep them there drinking and spending money.
  16. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Thanks for repeatedly telling us to play "Sea Cruise."
  17. Tampabass

    Tampabass Going Viral By 2080 Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2006
    I know you are, but what am I?
    well played, sir!

  18. Dear Bar Owner, thanks for letting your brother-in-law do the electrical wiring in the club. He should get a big tip for putting the stage outlets on the same circuit as your bar machines. We think it's fun when the breaker trips in the middle of a song every time the frozen margarita machine kicks on. It's also a real treat for us to race to get our power amps turned off before the bartender resets the breaker and blows up our PA.

    Dear Bar Owner, thanks for graciously providing a semi-trailer dock for us to load in on. We enjoy your contribution to our fitness by making us squat and lift a few thousand pounds of gear from the ground level to dock level.

    Dear Bar Owner, thanks for putting the dart boards right next to where you've dictated that our soundman has to set up. His reflexes have really improved!
  19. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL

    Epic. Thankfully, most of the bars we play have gone to electronic darts. They sting but don't leave scars or require a trip to the ER. :help:

    This really needs to be a reality show. You can't make this crap up. :rollno:
  20. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL

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